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Dark Tide II: Ruin (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, Book 3) Mass Market Paperback – June 6, 2000
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From the Inside Flap
The alien Yuuzhan Vong have launched an attack on the worlds of the Outer Rim. They are merciless, without regard for life - and they stand utterly outside the Force. Their ever-changing tactics stump the New Republic military. Even the Jedi, once the greatest guardians of peace in the galaxy, are rendered helpless by this impervious foe - and their solidarity has begun to unravel.
While Luke struggles to keep the Jedi together, Knights Jacen Solo and Corran Horn set off on a reconnaissance mission to the planet Garqi, an occupied world. There, at last, they uncover a secret that might be used to undermine the enemy - if only they can stay alive long enough to use it!
From the Back Cover
The alien Yuuzhan Vong have launched an attack on the worlds of the Outer Rim. They are merciless, without regard for life -- and they stand utterly outside the Force. Their ever-changing tactics stump the New Republic military. Even the Jedi, once the greatest guardians of peace in the galaxy, are rendered helpless by this impervious foe -- and their solidarity has begun to unravel. Now a rogue group of Knights have split off to deal with the Yuuzhan Vong on their own. Luke Skywalker must stop them -- any way he can -- before they fall to the Dark Side.
While Luke struggles to keep the Jedi together, Knights Jacen Solo and Corran Horn set out to learn some kind of secret that might be used to undermine the enemy. With a team of commandos they slip onto Garqi, an occupied world. If they are discovered, the Jedi will fall, and the New Republic will die...
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Corran Horn takes center stage amongst the Jedi. While he was never much my favorite character in the "X-Wing Series," he has matured into a respectable hero.
Mara has a lesser role here, but she also seems to be much less sick. Amazingly, she is now able to fight without being short of breath.
Leia makes and appearance early on, but her role is limited. The Solo children are supporting characters. Han is not in the picture at all.
Luke is still a cool Jedi, but he is more the Master than an active warrior.
The one thing that did pull me out of the book is the grief suffered by the characters upon the loss of friends. The friendships were never explored very deeply, so the intensity of mourning did not feel genuine.
Still, this was a good story, definitely worth reading.
This story continues the tale in a riveting manner. Good character development of the Skywalker and Solo kids.
A great read.
This book is better than Dark Tide I in that it continues Vector Prime's Yuuzhan Vong POV, but Stackpole is not as good as R A Salvatore when it comes to portraying the Vong.
Stackpole struggles when it comes to worldbuilding. His descriptions are often cluttered and lackluster, such that it is always hard to picture what he is describing. This does not apply to combat though, which Stackpole handles capably, albeit without the finesse of other authors.
Another annoying habit of Stackpole's is his desire to cement the Bantam-era stories as fact within these books. I personally don't like much of the Bantam-era stuff, particularly from the Jedi Academy trilogy, but Stackpole insists on reminding us of the Suncrusher, the Eye of Palpatine, Kyp Durron's ridiculous destruction of an entire system--whereas R A Salvatore wisely ignored this stuff and allowed Vector Prime to be self-contained. Dark Tide assumes you've read all of the Thrawn stuff, including Hand of Thrawn, it assumes you've read all of Stackpole's X-wing stuff as well as I, Jedi, it assumes you've read the Jedi Academy trilogy, and also the Callista trilogy, lots of which are terrible books in my opinion and which I don't want to have to count as being part of my "head-canon."
But I digress.
I don't believe Stackpole was the right choice for these books. He clearly is more interested in continuing his own little world that he built in the X-wing novels and which revolves around Corran Horn than building an epic story like the invasion of the Yuuzahn Vong.